Worldwide dairy giant Saputo has announced plans to acquire the specialty cheese business from Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty, a subsidiary of Japanese food and beverage conglomerate Kirin Company. The transaction is valued at $280 million AUD—approximately $197 million USD.
The transaction includes two manufacturing facilities located in Burnie and King Island, Tasmania, that employs approximately 400 people.
The acquisition, Saputo noted, is intended to “further diversify its product offering, adding to and complementing its current activities” in the region.
As part of the transaction, Saputo’s Australian dairy division will acquire a portfolio of specialty cheese brands including South Cape, Tasmanian Heritage, Mersey Valley and King Island Dairy, the company noted in a press release. Over the course of the 2018 calendar year, Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty’s specialty cheese business generated approximately $192 million AUD—roughly $135 million USD.
The transaction is subject to foreign investment approval and clearance by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
News of Saputo’s latest acquisition follows less than a month after the company announced plans to acquire British dairy manufacturer and marketer Dairy Crest Group, reentering the European market after a five year lapse. And, in North America, the company continues to ride a-crest the specialty cheese trend after earning an impressive slew of accolades at this years U.S. Championship Cheese Contest held last month.
Deli Market News will continue to report on all things specialty cheese.